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Room Launches New Menu

Neil Sowerby has a pleasant lunch in a spectacular building

Published on March 6th 2012.


Room Launches New Menu
AS WITH the statue of Gladstone that remains on the landing from its Reform Club days, restaurant/bar Room is not for budging. Even as the top of King Street turns into Manchester’s Latin Quarter with the advent of Jamie’s Italian and the imminent arrival of Parisian steak joint L’Entrecote.
The pleasant twist on duck pancakes offered slices of Goosnargh smoked duck, with rhubarb and pickled ginger. Across the slate, though, black pudding, a 'crispy' egg and confit pork was a lacklustre breakfast in disguise.
 
With the departure of Pete Taylor, an enduring presence in a constantly evolving restaurant scene, and the promotion to head chef of Nick Dawson, it’s a case of plus ca change. That’s on the evidence of a sneak preview of his new spring menu.
 
Nick helped Pete perfect that ironic twist on classic dishes that gets some traditional diners hot under the bib but can offer delightful 'deconstructed' surprises.
Personally, I’d like to see a bit more from a 28-year-old who learned his trade in the heat of innovative kitchens such as the Vineyard Stockcross and Anthony’s in Leeds.
 
On the surface, a three courser of crispy duck pancakes/scotch egg, spring lamb casserole/surf and turf and rhubarb and custard seemed simple enough but the trio of plates groaned with conflicting, hearty tastes.
 
The pleasant twist on duck pancakes offered slices of Goosnargh smoked duck, with rhubarb and pickled ginger. Across the slate, though, black pudding, a 'crispy' egg and confit pork was a lacklustre breakfast in disguise.
 
Mains, again a tale of two dishes (which should have been served separately) – a fine, juicy Swaledale lamb casserole alongside Surf and Turf, which was an equally springy scallop sabotaged by a cube of coarse tandoori spice grains and a cube of dry belly pork.
 
For the rhubarb and custard, a pleasingly tart rhubarb crumble sat inside a couple of hard pastry coffins. Room for improvement, as they say.
 
The new menu is available from March 22. The main dining area itself is an ocean of calm compared with the bedlam across the road at new kid on the block Jamie’s.
 
Room, 81 King Street, Manchester M2 4AH (0161 839 2005, www.roomrestaurants.com)

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AnonymousMarch 6th 2012.

Ocean of calm? Due to the nature of the space, noise from the bar area is pervasive.
Try going early on a Friday evening, you can barely hold a conversation in the main dining area because of raucous customers in the bar...

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 20th 2012.

Absolutely agree. Went last Friday. I personally don't find dance music and raucous chatter to be the soundtrack to a relaxing Friday evening dining experience. Also the food was burnt. And the wait on food was shocking.

GordoMarch 7th 2012.

Arguably the most underrated restaurant in the city.

Richard HJMarch 7th 2012.

I always like the surprise element of the Room menu. You'd order their Fish and Chips and get something completely different. Like a tombola with an egg inside. It was fun.

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